The Importance of Doubt in Scientific Thinking
Even though it’s safe to assume that the field of medicine is the epitome of scientific method, ironically, it wasn’t always so. It was a field marred with arrogance, hubris, and a sheer lack of scientific rigour. Most importantly, what medicine lacked was doubt, a necessity in scientific thinking.
Phase Transition: What Traffic Jams Teach Us About Office Politics
You’re driving home from work on a highway. The traffic is flowing well. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the highway turns into a parking lot of stopped cars. There’s no visible cause. There are no accidents in sight. Where did this traffic jam come from? And what does it have to do with office politics?
How I Explain Things
All my essays are either explanations or instructions, most of them full of arguments. I’m not the best writer, but since I write (two newsletters) every week I do get a lot of practice. And over the years (knowingly or unknowingly) I’ve developed a list of common pitfalls to avoid.
Counterfactual Reasoning: How to Ask Better What-if Questions
Suppose Jonny takes a drug and dies a month later, how do we go about investigating whether the drug might have caused his death? To answer this question (correctly) we need to imagine a scenario in which Jonny was about to take the drug but changed his mind.
Smart People Should Disagree With You
Being contrarian is often critical to the process of becoming massively valuable. If you can bet on something that nobody agrees with, and win, there’s nothing like it. I’ve written on this topic at length, but turns out that wasn’t enough. It’s still easily misunderstood, which is a shame.